- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2020

A U.S. Army combat veteran’s desire to give back to the community is one step closer to paying off as his sticky bone “paint” nears a testing phase with the FDA.

Luis Alvarez, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in biological engineering and a Master of Science in chemical engineering. He spoke with Military.com this week about using his education to create AMP2 — a substance that can regrow bone in gaps at least 2 inches long. AMP2 is made by a company called Theradaptive.

“When I got back from Iraq, I went back to grad school and the motivation there, in part, was to see if I could develop something or work on the problem of how do you induce the body to regenerate tissue in specific places and with a lot of control?” he told the website for an interview published Thursday.

Mr. Alvarez — with the help of $9 million in grants from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs — has perfected the product to the point where it is one step away from entering a human testing phase.

AMP2, unlike liquid measures to regrow bone, can do so in a way that is more precise and less dangerous to the patient.

“You can imagine if you try to squirt a liquid into a gap or a defect in the bone, you have no way of controlling where it goes,” he added.

The veteran concluded by saying the technology is on a trajectory to benefit far more than wounded warriors.

“The DoD and the VA are actually getting a lot of leverage from their investment because you can treat not only trauma, but also aging-associated diseases like lower back pain,” he told Military.com “It’s going to redefine how physicians practice regenerative medicine.”

* (Correction: Theradaptive is the name of the company, not the product. The story has been updated with the correct information.)

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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